Joseph Mallord William Turner

Barnard Castle above the County Bridge on the River Tees


View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 116 x 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLVII 34

Catalogue entry

This slight sketch shows the ruins of medieval Barnard Castle above the County Bridge over the Tees, looking north-east from downstream. Turner had first drawn here on his northern tour of 1797; there is a nearer, elaborately detailed view from the same direction in the North of England sketchbook (Tate D00936; Turner Bequest XXXIV 30), and another from the far side of the bridge (D00935; XXXIV 29).
Turner made no further sketches here in 1817, as he had made several when passing through the previous year gathering material for his History of Richmondshire watercolours, in the Yorkshire 2 sketchbook (Tate D11207, D11208, D11215; Turner Bequest CXLV 103, 103a, 107) and the Yorkshire 4 sketchbook (Tate D11493, D11494; Turner Bequest CXLVII 32, 33). In the 1830s he drew here again in the Rokeby and Appleby sketchbook (Tate D25628; Turner Bequest CCLXIV 55a) and the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border sketchbook (Tate D25823, D25824, D25826, D25827; Turner Bequest CCLXVI 32, 32a, 33a, 34).

There is a brief continuation of the trees on the left on folio 33 verso opposite (D12367). The drawing falls between two sequences of mostly unidentified landscape sketches from folio 27 verso (D12355) to folio 33 recto (D12366) and on folios 50 recto and 51 verso–52 recto (D12384, D12386, D12387). As discussed in the entry for folio 27 verso, they are likely to show scenes on the moors and hills around Bowes, south-west of Barnard Castle.

Matthew Imms
February 2010

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